Staff Editorial: Our Spring 2023 class recommendations

As the excitement around Thanksgiving Break grows, it can be easy to lose track of another impending deadline: class registration. Whether you have poured over course listings and have a robust list of classes or this article is your wake up call to poke around the course listings, the Student Life Editorial Board is here to help. 

All of the classes listed below are offered for this upcoming spring semester. While every major and program mandatorily adds a few (or maybe more than a few) classes to your schedule, there is always that one spot at that odd time where there is an opening for a class of your choosing. Our advice: seek out a department you otherwise would never take a class in and find a class title that looks interesting. College is about the only time in life where taking classes in foreign policy, computer science, and music composition at once is an achievable feat. 

Also, make use of the planning tools that are found in WebSTAC. Keeping track of your academic division and degree requirements on Post-IT notes only works for so long. That said, while it’s important to be cognizant of all the divisional requirements, most people will fulfill all but one or two requirements without consciously selecting classes. Being curious and taking a wide variety of different courses does the job for you!

Lastly, do not fret if you get on a waitlist for that one class you’ve always wanted to take. Chances are enough people will drop after the first class that you’ll be able to get a seat in the class with no problem. If the waitlist is shrinking a little too slow, reach out to the professor and ask about coming to class as a waitlist student or if they will consider bumping up the enrollment cap. On the flip side, upperclassmen need to be deliberate when shopping for classes. While over-enrolling to get a taste of different classes is normal, make sure to drop classes sooner rather than later so people desperate to take the class don’t get anxious on the waitlist. 

Without further ado, here are the Student Life Editorial Board’s recommendations for the Spring of 2023.

L44 Ling 170 — Introduction to Linguistics

This class was incredibly interesting and refreshing when I took it last spring. You learn about the structures and systematic workings of language itself paired with examples from various languages across the world, and it’s all taught in a fun and digestible way (especially if you take it with Dr. Hyde). I took this class sort of by accident since I had to drop a different class at the time, and it ended up being my favorite class of the semester. Even if you don’t think you are interested in linguistics, I would recommend trying it out just to see what it has to offer!

— Cathay Poulsen, Chief-of-Copy

L14 E Lit 395 — Shakespeare (with Professor Ake)

I went into this class taking it as a requirement and came out of it occasionally excited about Shakespeare. Ake makes it fun and comprehensible. If you think words or stories are interesting at all, Shakespeare invented or popularized a lot of what we have today, and reading his plays is awesome because then you start to see them everywhere. It’s similar to the feeling of taking an art history class and then going to the museum and being like “Oh yeah! I know this one!” — except it happens every time you watch a movie or read a book. I also met one of my best friends and current roommate in this class: it brings people together.

— Holden Hindes, Photography Editor

L32 Pol Sci 3171 — Topics: Sports, Policy, and Politics

For anyone remotely interested in the world of sports, I cannot recommend Professor Bowersox’s class enough. Each class usually begins with a roundtable discussion about current events in the world of sports, contextualizing much of the class’ material. With a controversial World Cup concluding just ahead of next semester, there will be plenty of interesting conversations. Topics range from the origin of organized sport to the protests at the 1968 Olympics. In addition, the final project is an Olympic Bid presentation which I found to be a fun and relevant project. Some of the tests and essays can seem tricky but if you take notes and make an effort in class discussions the grades will end up working out favorably. Overall, Bowersox’s energy and the unique curriculum combine to make it an all-star class for any sports fan.

— Jared Adelman, Senior Multimedia Editor 

L13 Writing 220 — Creative Nonfiction I

Even if you would never think about taking a writing class, I urge you to think about this one. As a pre-med student, I certainly didn’t think this was in my wheelhouse. You get to read cool pieces, talk about them with a small group, write on your own, and get feedback. Plus, there are literally no stakes — as long as you do the work (and there’s not much), you’ll do well. There’s something fantastic about a punishment-free place to noodle around with words.

— Ved Patel, Managing Chief of Copy

L30 Phil 120 — Problems in Philosophy 

A call to both PNP majors and the philosophically inclined: take this class! I took it out of necessity, but looking back, I would have taken it again even without the credit. As a freshman, this class was my first taste of philosophical debate and discussion. It’s a great intro to thought problems, as well as a chance for the natural debater to take on topics from religion to sexuality. I would advise that this class gives you as much as you give it — you have to make the effort to be engaged in order to be entertained. And if anyone wants to argue about free will (or lack thereof), let me know. 

— Via Poolos, Managing Scene Editor 

L13 Writing 360 — The Art of Publishing

I haven’t taken this class. But before you boo me, hear me out, because The Art of Publishing (and the Publishing concentration as a whole) is something I’ve been waiting for since I got to WashU. Our school has a wealth of student publications, from RIZE to WUnderground, Armour to WUPR, but aside from a few classes here and there (such as L13 Writing 313, The Writer, the Editor, and the Digital World — highly recommend) there haven’t always been regular opportunities to explore those interests within the classroom. Starting this semester, an actual publishing concentration for the English major is finally in full swing — but, as a senior with exactly six classes standing between me and matriculated freedom, it’s too late to splurge on my registration worksheet. But it doesn’t have to be for you. So please, take The Art of Publication: if only so that I can live vicariously through you.

— Jamila Dawkins, Managing Forum Editor

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